Directed and Written by Abbas Kiarostami
Stars:Juliet Binoche, James Miller
In French, Italian and English with English subtitles

Note the three languages mentioned above. I felt like I was listening to or reading this movie in at least three languages. Every time I began to feel anchored to an idea of what the film was about, the ground shifted. If this doesn’t bother you as a viewer, you are likely to have a good time at Certified Copy. But unlike SOURCE CODE, you are not adrift because the science behind the film is difficult. It is the intentions of the writer/director that frustrates a viewer that likes to have his feet planted solidly.

PLOT: A woman attends a lecture by an art historian in Italy. Her teenage son distracts her, but before she goes, she leaves a note for the lecturer. In the next scene, he wanders into her antique shop (as the note suggested) and on an impulse, she invites him to see something she think pertains to his new book—a book about originals and copies.

As they travel across the Tuscan countryside, we believe we are watching a relationship in its first stages but as the movie progresses, our ideas about this couple changes. More and more it seems like they have a history, a rather intense one. Or do they? Are they the original or a copy? Or it might not be about that at all? It’s up to you to decide. You bright ones out there.

I know at least three people who liked this movie and three others who found it frustrating and annoying. I was one of the latter but because the three who liked it are all people whose opinions I trust, I am going to recommend it. Maybe you can explain it to me.

Patti Abbott writes crime fiction short stories. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in.